2-21-08 Arthur Brown
I’ve been a fan of Arthur Brown for nearly 40 years. Like almost everybody else that was alive in 1968 – I first heard his song “Fire”, his malevolent admonition for the age of Aquarius. “I Am The God of Hell, Fire – and I Bring You – Fire!” – and the album it’s on “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown” (Track 613 005, Atlantic SD 8198; 1968) is pretty damned good.
As nothing else appeared on the market bearing Arthur’s name in 1969 or 1970 – in the fast-moving times of the early 70’s, I thought he was perhaps a one-hit-wonder – perhaps never to make another record?
In fact, I didn’t even hear Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come until 1972 or 1973 – and it was at the urging of an acquaintance I made, a guy I met by my placing a notice card up in a record store – looking to discuss music with other like-minded individuals. Ah, the things one did in a pre-internet age!
Jim Hresko told me that Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come “Galactic Zoo Dossier” (LP: UK Polydor 2310 130, 1971) was his favorite record of all time – I do not remember what I told him my favorite record of that time was – probably King Crimson “In The Court of the Crimson King”? Both Jim and I were into Van Der Graaf Generator – he was amazed that I knew of them – I was one of the few people he hadn’t told about VDGG.
Well, he was right – “GZD” (as it affectionately known by fans) is a monster album – and thankfully, the Japanese have done the right thing and re-issued the CD as a little paper album cover (kami sleeve) CD – complete with reproducing the poster included in the original album (miniaturized, of course, to “CD size”). For the record, I am also 100% good with the 2nd album by ABKC “Kingdom Come (LP: UK Polydor 2310 178, 1972). Jim liked the 3rd ABKC album “Journey” better than I did, but I still liked it – the first rock album to prominently feature a drum machine, instead of a regular drummer.
I recently obtained Arthur’s biography / autobiography – and was surprised at how much the book dealt with his spirituality. From his records, his wild sense of humor was obvious – but his biography / autobiography is a real wild ride – with plenty of tales of the up and down world of the music business and the times that his records were made in.
35+ years later, and I am still friendly with Jim H. – I wonder if he’s read the Arthur Brown book? I bet he’d like the book – but, like me, he’d think that they sort of glossed over Kingdom Come – not giving them enough space in the pages. Too bad that there was another group that took the “Kingdom Come” name – they even had an eponymous titled album, so watch it – if you’re wanting to check out the1972 works of Arthur Brown.
Stuck in the “Galactic Zoo”? Want to discuss it? Come along with me, traffic light – I believe I can help you!
p.s. Good luck to the moron who bid on the "World's Greatest Music Collection" - $3+ mil. for an unseen 160,000 collection? Not around here...
Labels: Trophy Album